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Water and ice

Estherville News Editorial

January 13, 2016
Estherville News Staff , Estherville News

The Estherville Parks and Recreation Board had a short meeting, but it sparked a lot of thought about what we do with our leisure time. Right this minute, the ice rink is ready at Riverside Park, near the parking lot north of the swinging bridge. Ice skating was once a life skill in cold weather areas with long winters. Kind of like riding a bike, learning to cut our skate blades through the surface of the ice and stay upright while doing it was how we kept up with our friends. Snow-covered stocking caps and gloves, cold noses and rosy cheeks, and games of hockey and tag, or just making figure 8s on the ice were what winter days were made of. We came home ready for a steaming mug of hot cocoa. A pair of ice skates was a coveted Christmas gift when they came in black for men and boys and white for women and girls. The City of Estherville has skates in a variety of sizes for loan and they have added layers of water to freeze on the river and create a smooth surface. How many will take them up on the offer of free fun?

It's hard to imagine the heat of summer right now. But by the time we're complaining about the heat again, the parks and recreation board and its newly formed committee of citizens from various walks of life will be collaborating on the plan for the new aquatic center. Few people surveyed said they used the current pool frequently during the season, and many said it could use improvements and repairs. A clear majority of people surveyed said they support a new aquatic center. Flexibility and more amenities will mean more people will enjoy swimming, splashing and cooling off. Many similar-sized cities across Iowa have invested in an aquatic center to serve a greater population of users. At the current pool, kids from elementary through middle school make up the majority of swimmers. While it's fantastic that kids are getting out to swim, we feel swimming as a lifelong activity should be inclusive of people from all walks of life. A new aquatic center could get everyone out and about when the weather is hot.

The slo-break basketball league is canceled for this year, and it's seen as a reflection of changing preferences and obligations. More parents are consumed with their children's activities. More people work in the evenings.

We also wonder if more people stay online and don't venture out to meet others and have fun. Have we decided not to play together? Do we work so long and hard that we've forgotten how to get some exercise, meet in a common space, compete and challenge each other?

When Kevin Honeycutt came to Estherville Lincoln Central to talk about leaving a legacy, he was talking about our online footprint, but we feel he was talking about more than that. What will be the legacy of your life at the end of it? Will you at least be able to say you made great friends and had a lot of fun?

Our city offers a variety of recreational activities, all of which are much more fun if a lot of people show up. Come on out.



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